Authors: Bayani H. Quilala IV
Abstract: The ASEAN is once again at the forefront of a super power rivalry this time between the US and China with the South China Sea as its setting. While it has been maintained that the ASEAN is not a military-security organization, former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said the ASEAN was created in August 1967 on account of the shared national objectives and goals of its members against the evolving strategic development in East Asia (Severino, 2006). Against the increasing security dilemma in the South China Sea among the claimants and the threat of a Sino-US power rivalry, a change in the characterization of the region’s security outlook from a military definition to comprehensive security is essential. This refers to interdependence and cooperation in economic development, scientific research and a general enhancement of human interactions. Accordingly, military might alone does not define security nor generate long-term peace (Valencia 2000). The establishment of an ASEAN-led maritime regime against piracy could initiate the foundation to finding a resolution to the South China Sea disputes and encourage cooperation and mutual understanding in Sino-US rivalry in the region.
Keywords: Maritime regime, ASEAN, Comprehensive security, Piracy